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Education

Former Detroit Public Schools administrator charged with $1.3 million fraud

kids in classroom
Mercedes Mejia
/
Michigan Radio
The Detroit College Promise awards DPS seniors $500 if they attend a Michigan college or university.

Yet another Detroit Public Schools administrator is accused of stealing from the district.

This time the alleged scam steered at least $1,275,000 to a former grants manager for tutoring services that were never delivered.

Carolyn StarkeyDarden worked for the district from 1968 to 2005. She went on to set up a series of companies that got tutoring contracts with the district.

“The alleged thievery perpetrated by this individual is inexcusable and represents a clear violation of the public trust that has robbed our students and staff of nearly $1.3 million in resources that should have been used for instruction in our classrooms,” DPS Emergency Manager Steven Rhodes said in a statement.

I will continue to work with U.S. Attorney McQuade, recently reinstated DPS Inspector General Bernadette Kakooza, and the dedicated, responsible and ethical employees of this school system to uncover this unacceptable behavior and bring the full force of the law against those who have the audacity to steal from our children. We will also continue to cooperate with law enforcement on all investigations.” 

StarkeyDarden faces up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 if she's convicted. The feds are also looking to seize close to $1 million from 16 bank and investment accounts.

You can read the charging document here.

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